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Rashid Minhas Corner

On Friday, 20th August, 1971, the jet trainer of the 20-year-old Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas, still under training, was attempted to be hijacked by an instructor pilot from the same unit, who wanted to join Bengaldesh Libration Army in India. Left with only once way of stopping the aircract from entering the Indian territory, Minhas forced his own aircraft to crash at a point some 32 miles from the Indian border. He was posthumously awared the highest military award, Nishan-i-Haider and remains one of the best-loved heroes in Pakistan.

The following is an excerpt from The Rose Garden of Mystery, the English translation of Iqbal’s ‘Gulshan-i-Raz Jadeed' (a part of Persian Psalms), which Rashid Minhas copied in his diary sometime in late teens.

‘Gulshan-i-Raz Jadid’ is a summary of Iqbal’s thought, comprising of “nine questions” and their answers. The lines which Rashid copied were from the answer to the final question, “Who at last became familiar with the secret of unity? Who is the wise man that is a Gnostic [Arif – or the knower of mysteries]?”

The New Rose Garden of Mystery

In this world things decay. Passage from Iqbal’s Gulshan-i-Raz-i-Jadid.

In this world things decay
And stay for a brief day.
To know what is to have true bliss
And what gnosis is? This:
Our heart does not seek lies
It is divinely wise.
A fruitless grief
Is not our brief,
And pining after what is not
Is not our lot.
True passion, yearning, zest,
A roaring quest—
Keep these alive:
On them your self will thrive.
The self can be immortalized
And union with god realized
Without losing your identity—
A lover’s unity.
A breath if it is burning bright
Can set a lamp alight.
There is a needle that can mend a rent
In the cloak of the firmament.

Translated by M. Hadi Hussain

Source: Facsimile in the archives of the family of Rashid Minhas Shaheed N.H.

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